chased leader, not fluent 10th, jumped slowly 12th, jumped slowly and lost 2nd next, not fluent 15th, reminders before 16th (water), went 2nd again next, dropped to 3rd again 4 out, ridden and weakened before 2 out
jumped well, led, driven between last 2, joined last, soon headed and not pace of winner flat
not flent 1st, held up tracking leading pair, went 2nd 13th until 17th, went 2nd again 4 out, travelling best approaching next, closing when mistake 2 out, rallied to challenge last, led soon after and quckened clear, driven out
HARRY TOPPER looked a very smart novice in the first half of last season and showed he had progressed over the summer when winning the Charlie Hall at Wetherby on his reappearance. The likes of Benefficient and Long Run were well beaten that day and Kim Bailey's six-year-old should be good enough to get the better of Rolling Aces off level weights, as long as there is a decent pace. The latter won a Grade 2 at Down Royal last month but has yet to prove as effective over this extra half-mile. Vino Griego has failed to complete in either start this season and would need a return to his smart form in the spring to keep tabs on his two rivals in this.
Harry Topper 5-1 (11-6) Held up, jumped slowly 1st, blundered next, not fluent 9th, headway on outside 11th, challenged 4 out, led 2 out, driven flat, held on, won at Wetherby 3m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) gs in Nov beating Wayward Prince (11-10) by nk, 7 ran.
Rolling Aces (IRE) 9-4fav (11-5) Chased leader in 2nd, led 5th, challenged 3 out, ridden and strongly pressed 2 out, half length advantage when left clear last, kept on well run-in, eased close home, won at Down Royal 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Nov beating Toner D'Oudairies (11-8) by 2l, 7 ran.
Vino Griego (FR) 25-1 (11-0) Behind, hit 8th, under pressure when fell 3 out, in a race won by Johns Spirit (10-2) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov, 20 ran.